St Patrick’s Foundation News - September 2020. Issue 2
The Journey Continues!
Welcome to the second edition of this newsletter. The children are now settling into school life really well and we are impressed with the way that they are independently coming into Foundation and settling with their early morning activities. Thank you for all of your support in helping the children to get used to saying goodbye at the Fort Road gate. This is an important step in their journey of independence at school.
You might hear the words ‘Reception’ or ‘Year R’ used to describe the year group that your child has entered. These are words that we used to use to describe the first year at school. However, we now use the term ‘Foundation.’ This is to reflect the fact that your child is in their final year of the Early Years Foundation Stage, which covers children’s learning and development from birth up to 5 years old. You may still hear some adults at St Patrick’s using the old terms ‘Reception’ or ‘Year R.’ Some of us are still getting used to the change!
A few of you have been asking about what you can put into your child’s water bottle. Just to clarify, we ask that you do not provide your child with juice unless prior medical consent has been provided to the school. Children are only allowed to drink water, as well as the cartons of milk ordered by the school each day. We encourage all children to access their water bottles throughout the day and we have sinks available for the children to refill their water bottles.
You may have heard your child talking about ‘yellow cards’ or ‘red cards.’ St Patrick’s uses a card system to assist the children in monitoring their own behaviour. If your child’s behaviour remains good, they maintain a green behaviour card. However, if their behaviour falls below the standards that we expect in school, they are issued with a yellow warning card to indicate that their behaviour needs to change. Being issued a yellow card does not necessarily mean that anything awful has happened. It is simply a way to indicate to the child that they need to improve their behaviour. If their behaviour improves in the session, then they can return to a green card. However, if the negative behaviour persists, they are issued with a red card as a last resort, which results in a missed playtime. On the rare occasion that your child does receive a yellow card, this is not a cause for concern. We will speak to you directly if we have any concerns about your child’s behaviour. However, we are massively impressed with much of the behaviour that we have witnessed so far!
What is my child learning?
At this point of the year, your child might come home and tell you that all they have done is play! They might say that they haven’t done any learning. Or they may just not tell you anything at all! For the first few weeks of your child’s time in Foundation, they will learn how to behave in school, and the rules and routines of school life. This is an immense amount for your child to learn, which may explain the tired faces at the end of the school day!
The Early Years Foundation Stage is grounded in play-based learning. If your child comes home and says that all they do is play, then we are succeeding. The challenge of professionals working in Foundation is to embed learning opportunities within the children’s play (often without them realising!)
Over the next few weeks, we will:
· Introduce the learning dinosaurs (see Issue 1 of this newsletter for details)
· Start teaching the Set 1 sounds of our phonics scheme, Read, Write, Inc
· Teach the children how to hold a pencil properly and write their name
· Model how to be a good listener
· Teach how to recognise and order numbers 1-10, count up to 10 objects, and how to count forwards and backwards from 0-10
· Teach the children the days of the week
· Model how to handle a ball with increasing control
· Teach our school prayers
· Introduce the children to our school mission statement in RE – following the loving example shown by Jesus Christ
As you can see, there is lots of learning taking place; the vast majority of it being taught through play, singing and even a spot of dancing!
Thank you to those of you who have spoken to us to clarify the Foundation uniform for this year. We also appreciate that some of you have changed your child’s clothing to comply with the Foundation uniform. If you are still unsure, you can find this information on our school website at: https://www.spcps.co.uk/uniform
We have introduced the children to a morning prayer that is often said at St Patrick’s:
Oh my God you love me, you are with me night and day. I want to love you always in all I do and say. I will try to please you, Father. Bless me through this day. Amen.
The Foundation Team